Agronomy III - Root Crops


Learn how to grow root vegetables, some of the world's most vital crops. Start a new enterprise or increase and improve your farm's output. Root crops are the second most important staple crop in the world.

Course CodeBAG310
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


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Learn how to grow root vegetables, some of the world's most vital crops!

 

Add to what you are already growing on your farm or start a new enterprise with this comprehensive course in root crop growing.

Root crops are the second most important staple crop in the world. They are an essential source of carbohydrates for people all over the world. They are also important food security crops for both humans and animals - as climate changes the agricultural environment, we will need to turn to resilient, carbohydrate and protein rich, easily grown crops to replace those that are highly dependent on water (e.g. rice) for their productivity and survival.

Root crops include:

  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • yams
  • turnips
  • carrots
  • swedes

In developing countries, some types of root crops (for example yams and cassava) which are relatively high in protein (about 6%), contribute to the diet as a substitute for other, less obtainable, protein foods such as fish or meat; root crops are also becoming very popular in the developed world as people begin to understand the benefits to their health and to the environment by growing and eating root vegetables.

This course will help you discover different varieties of root vegetables, learn best growing practices and understand different harvesting techniques.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Root Cropping and the Botany of Roots
  2. Cultural Practices A: Soil Management, Crop Scheduling and Soil Water
  3. Cultural Practices B: Weed control, Pest Management
  4. Potatoes
  5. Carrots and their Relatives
  6. Turnips and their Relatives
  7. Beets
  8. Taro, Yams and Sweet Potato
  9. Other Root Crops
  10. Harvest and Post-Harvest Management

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Describe root vegetables, their variations and nutritional value and the morphological internal and external structures of roots.
  • Outline the cultural practices needed to produce vegetable crops.
  • Outline methods of weed and pest management and the use and range of specialised machinery used in root crop production.
  • Outline the cultural requirements and growing techniques for potatoes.
  • Outline the cultural requirements and growing techniques for carrots and their relatives.
  • Outline the cultural requirements and growing techniques for turnips and their relatives.
  • Outline the cultural requirements and growing techniques for beets and their relatives.
  • Outline the cultural requirements and growing techniques for Yams, Taro and Sweet Potato
  • Outline the cultural requirements and growing techniques for a range of other root crops not studied earlier this course.
  • Describe the harvest and post-harvest requirements of root vegetable crops.

What You Will Do

  • Cultivate a root vegetable bed
  • Create and update a log book recording your bed's details
  • Conduct experiments to determine moisture range
  • Discuss ways to improve soil for a set of root crops
  • Discuss crop rotation systems
  • Discuss seed treatments and planting techniques
  • Prepare a weed collection
  • Develop pest and disease control programs from planting through to harvest
  • Write a crop production schedule
  • Discuss timing of varieties and harvest

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS COURSE?

 

  • Farmers and farm workers
  • Farm equipment and service suppliers
  • Agriculture students and professionals
  • Small farm or hobby farm owners considering new 'niche' crops
  • Livestock owners/managers, wanting to produce animal feeds


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